GLORIOUS VIEW OF OF NEW YORK
Louis Turgis (French, active Paris and New York, ca. 1855–87)
“New-York, Vue prise des hauteurs de Brooklyn/New-York from Brooklyn Heights (Ports de Mer d'Amérique–Etats-Unis)”
Paris: Turgis, 1856
Lithograph with tint stone. “Ports de Mer d'Amérique–Etats-Unis” in top margin. "Drawn from nature by J. W. C. Williams” on lower left; “Lith. de Turgis à Paris” at lower right; Legend with landmarks, publisher name and address, and title printed in bottom margin. 15 x 21 inches visible; 25 ½ x 31 ½ inches framed.
This glorious view is drawn from a work by J. W. C. Williams (American, 19th century), and looks towards lower Manhattan from the perspective of Brooklyn Heights. It foregrounds the pleasing turquoise and lapis water of the East river, which is populated by sailing ships as well as a few paddle steamers--an indication of New York’s burgeoning stature as an industrial port city in the mid-19th century.
This composition encompasses numerous famous landmarks that remain key sites of New York life today, including The Battery, South Ferry, Saint Paul’s Church, Governor’s Island, and Staten Island.
The land of New York was discovered in 1524, and colonized by the Dutch in 1624, when it was named New Amsterdam and became a trading port of the Dutch West India Company. In 1664 this Dutch colony was surrendered to British forces and was renamed New York after James Duke of York (1633-1701), who had been granted the land by his brother King Charles II. Within fifteen years of this present view, New York would become one of the most important cities in the new nation. Today it is a vibrant and diverse beacon of culture, finance, and education for the world.
Reference: John W. Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1984). Part III #2787, pg.426.
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